“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Fruttare, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV”
Our home is the epicenter for the neighborhood kids. I’m not really sure how it started; must have been the fact that I didn’t want my girls going out all over the neighborhood, and easily welcomed the others into our home and backyard. And to this day, I don’t regret this chain of events. Sure we’ve had to deal with some scrapes and arguments, our snack cupboard is regularly raided, and my dishes are regularly found abandoned in the backyard. But I embrace these issues because it means my girls have friends to play with and those friends feel welcomed into our home space. In case you too have your kids inviting friends over this summer, I’m sharing 5 ideas that can help you entertain the neighborhood kids when they visit.
1. Bug Museum
I will not claim ownership of this idea, it was developed by the kids and it’s one that all the neighborhood kids love to play. It typically starts with my daughter’s acquiring some plastic containers from our kitchen and heading out with their friends to find bugs. They add some greenery to the container to make it nice for their future hostage, then they prowl. Once a few specimens have been collected we’re invited outside to view the bug museum and many times we’re charged an entry fee — my kids are definitely entrepreneurial. The bugs always get released back to their families at the end of the day.
2. Water Play
The dollar store/bin is your friend. Water balloons go a long way towards entertaining a group of kids. Add some plastic containers and they’re ready for battle. Sometimes each kid gets their own container, other times they place strategic “refuel” containers around the yard and have to race from point to point to get their next balloon. Just be sure you make the clean-up part of the play. Our kids like to choose a color and divvy up the clean-up by searching for their specified balloon remnant color in the yard. If you’re feeling generous you could even offer a penny per balloon remnant picked up. Water play could also mean a sprinkler, slip and slide, or even just playing with the hose.
3. Sweet Cool Treats
We always try to keep sweet, cold treats on hand for the kids during the summer. Opening up a box of tasty treats, like the Fruttare fruit bars, is always a great way to slow things down and refresh the kids for more play. Looking back upon my own childhood, there are memories of cold summer treats shared among friends. Yum! You can also score some free tunes for the kids to enjoy while eating when you buy Fruttare bars at Kroger stores with their $4 free music code offer in July (while supplies last).
4. Backyard Games
Getting the kids out of the house is a great way to keep your house in order and limit the “damage”. We bought a backyard croquet set that the kids have a blast setting up and playing on. You can also look up some great ideas on pinterest for backyard games, including twister in the grass, giant jenga, and even tug o’ war. Setting up an obstacle course is always a hit; add in a stopwatch and it becomes a fun challenge.
5. Get Artistic
A bucket of sidewalk chalk can be bring lots of entertainment. You can even help inspire the kids with naming a theme and having them create masterpieces about that theme. We’ve also had one of the longest hopscotches I’ve ever seen run down our driveway. Another favorite artistic game for my daughters is writing their own plays with each kid having a part in the play. Again, we’re often invited to the performance and charged for our tickets.
I’m so thankful for all the fun my girls have found with the neighborhood kids and hope these ideas will help you the next time you’re faced with young visitors.